Thursday, December 3, 2015

We are all Those People to Someone

Beliefs are clashing. Fear and outrage are the new American high. Who to blame? Who to hate? What's the group of the week?
Before the words "you people" or "they all" or "those people" come out of your mouth, remember absolute statements are dangerous. Absolute statements about groups of people close minds and close eyes, they are used to influence our behavior. It's okay to do morally reprehensible things to people we can mentally justify as beneath moral consideration. When we do this we forget, we are the "you, they, and those people" to someone else.
I don't want someone's arbitrary group bias to negatively impact me, I don't want to negatively impact someone else because I'm mistaking a human being for a stereotype that could be devastatingly wrong.
Consider, to children who have had family who were non-military die in bombings, people working in sweat shops to make the clothes we're wearing, migrant workers fighting cancer from the pesticide additives to GMO crops: the insincere, soft, ignorant, judgemental, greedy 'Muricans are all of us. You are thinking, but I am not, I do not, that's not accurate! You're probably right, but it's what others might perceive. Nobody is perfect. If I throw stones I will throw stones at myself, throwing them at anyone else isn't justified. 

Blanket hatred for ethnic groups needs to be an embarrassing human flaw of the past. We need to teach awareness, tolerance, and approach things we fear with common sense, cool heads and compassion.

Black lives matter. Native lives matter. There is white privilege, but not every white is privileged. I read justifications for blanket prejudice from individual experiences, inflammatory and derogatory actions and words with zero tolerance for other people's experiences, common sense, reason, or respect.

Society is acting like an entitled child having a temper tantrum and lashing out because "they". Religion, political beliefs, cultural beliefs are all justifications for anything: we can use them for acts of beauty and kindness. Instead of building one nuclear weapon we could provide food and stability to an unstable country.

 Food, clothing, shelter, and compassion will always have a greater impact on improving the world than any weapon. Why are we still feeding a perpetuating cycle of hate and violence? Time to grow. Time to let go of outrage and resentment. The future grows when we quit poisoning ourselves on hatred we excuse because of our perception of the past.

 Everyone has ancestors who were assholes. They survived. We learn from their mistakes. Let's not emulate them.

A small percentage of people have the wealth, legislation, and media at their finger tips. It's up to you if you choose to become a puppet to rhetoric, whether it's Islamic, Christian, or Pro-life. Terrorism is killing for beliefs. It's time for us to stop rewarding terrorism and terrorists with publicity. Their acts are shameful and heinous. Honor the bravery of survivors. Problem solve. What led to the attack? Life stressors, lack of money, relationships, religion? What can we as a society address and change in a positive way?

I'm going to refer to history.
When you want peace you take care of the needs of people whether they are like you or different. When you want war you inhumanize and provoke and attack. 

Would you want someone's arbitrary beliefs and prejudice making major impacts on your life? I don't want that level of responsibility and I don't want it done to me.

None of us is perfect. Work on yourself.
If you've got a loved one who is lost to rabid hatred and blanket statements offer them other perspectives and know that somewhere, in a ghetto, in an office building, in a war zone someone else is trying to talk sense and a live and let live philosophy to a rabid friend there.

There's no absolutes about people. Treat everyone as an individual. Treat everyone else as if their life and their choices deserve as much respect as your own.

How many lives have to be disrupted or destroyed because of prejudice? It's caused more wars, human rights violations, and murders than any bomb or gun. The bombs and guns are tools. The people wielding them are dangerous, thinking tools.

Give people a chance, disarm a prejudice today.